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The Fixer
Bernard Malamud, Jonathan Safran Foer
The Wayward Bus
John Steinbeck

At Swim, Two Boys

At Swim Two Boys - Jamie O'Neill i always feel a little bad for the books that come after amazing reads. am i comparing them? should i be comparing them? this book got better as it went along, is that because i was still on such a high from my last read that my expectations were too big at the start of this one? i don't know.what i do know is that based on content, you'd think i'd love this book. it deals with things like revolution, socialism, classism, homosexual coming of age, gender bias. but i really, really didn't like the way it was written, even with his clever twisting of words and the way he made up words, combinations and otherwise. (i think this is probably why he is compared to james joyce, especially since they're both irish.) and i also really don't like the way he wrote about prostitution and rape. parts of the story kept me reading, but others i was less interested in.but, here's something good to take away from it:"Will he never learn 'tis the mark of a gent, not that hats are lifted to him, but that he lifts his hat to others?""The universality of things abstracted him. That, for instance, there should be smoothened surfaces for the use of traffic, and that these roads should come from the country and, meeting the city, should turn into streets. ... But come sir, enough of the paving: what of the people? Let the people be classified into sexes, of which there shall be two, male and female. The criterion shall be generative function, though please to note, this function is ideal and not actual: the prepubescent, the celibate, the emasculate, the nulliparous, the non-generative for whatever reason, shall yet be classified by sex. They shall be male or female. Female or male shall they be, though the greater shall be male. Come come sir, enough about gender. The people shall further be graded according to wealth, and - humorous touch this - the more obviously a man labor, the more stinting shall be his reward; the more he work in the out-of-doors, the thinner his clothing shall be; the more his labor filthy him, the less water shall he have to wash. ..."